A (Free!) Clue For Sony

September 21, 2008

Macintosh owners are doing that.

Macintosh owners!

The people who are supposed to be enthralled with the iPhone and iPod Touch as eBook devices.

Yet they are still interested in the Sony Reader!


When will someone over at Sony get it?!!?

Sony Reader Revolution: FAIL!

September 21, 2008

I had to know, so I went to that Borders I mentioned yesterday to see the Sony Reader Revolution campaign in real-life action.

According to Sony’s own site, these were supposed to be today’s hours for the Revolution:

I got there at about 4:15PM. I got there within an hour of departing for it because I spent carfare to take the bus and subway. OK? I. Spent. Money. I didn’t walk (which, aside from the ferry in-between, I’d sometimes do).

I went in and looked around, not wanting to ask where these exciting eBook festivities were taking place.

Nothing on the Ground Floor.

I go up to the Second Floor.

Nothing there.


So I break down and ask.

I’m told the Sony Reader area is next to the “first information booth” — back on the Ground Floor.

Get this: I walked right by it on my way to the Second Floor!

That gives you an idea of the FAIL! of this alleged Revolution.

Sony, I don’t know if you hired a temp or if Borders was supposed to task someone to pimp the Sony Reader, but there was no one.

N.o. o.n.e!

What there was, was this sad-assed kiosk that — I repeat — I walked right by while I was looking for it!

Here is the sad sad sad evidence from the Philips crapcam:

The forlorn easy-to-miss kiosk.

How forlorn? Just one accessory on it! One!

See the Revolutionaries? I sure didn’t!!

Very craptastic: even the skirting was put on lousy!!

But I did walk away with some cheap swag:

Borders pamphlet, actual-size Sony Reader brochure, actual-size jetBook eReader card

Oh, that jetBook card got in there because after Borders, I stopped in J&R. Where I was ejected for spraying drool all over the counter protecting the red Sony Reader!! (Half true. I fled after spraying!)

Look! You can see it says Borders. Shame!!

Other side of the FAIL brochure.

And the FAIL is even compounded!

The Borders brochure gives you a code as a Thank You for submitting to a demo. It allows you to download ten free classics eBooks! But get this: Because some retard at Sony spackled frikkin DRM on those public domain works, you must sign up for a Sony eBook Store account and give them your credit card number in order to get these “free” classics!


Sony, when will you get a frikkin clue?!

Look, hire a goddammed temp. Have him/her do up your own versions of these classics so you can get rid of the damned DRM. Then at least people can really, really get them for free.

Expecting people to jump through confiscatory hoops for free is just Major Dumb.

In fact, let me go further: You’re outright lying. They’re not free. They’re “free in exchange for” — which, hello McFly!, is the definition of a sale!

You’re not getting money, but you’re getting something.

And that’s a transaction.

Christ, Sony, when will you guys stop pissing me off?

Will that happen on October 2nd? I hope so!

Sony Reader Revolution: In Search Of …

September 21, 2008

Right then.

Me and the Philips crapcam are going walkies for a few hours to see what this Sony Reader Revolution campaign is all about.

This better be worth it!

Be prepared for the usual crappy-blurry photos.

If I find the Revolutionaries!!


September 21, 2008

I was checking out my Twitter Followers and this led me to a website called MicroDesign.

At the bottom I saw this:

I clicked through to the Fluidbook site.

And I did the demo.

It’s very interesting. Performance was OK — not great, but not terrible — even on this crap PC (which means it should be great on your PC). The user interface was clean and it was the first time I’ve seen online publishing done in a sensible and actually readable way.

Go have a look.

Attention, Sony! Amazon Nails Kindle In One Line!

September 21, 2008

Over 200 Apress Titles Now Available on Kindle

This commitment from Apress moves us closer to our vision for Kindle, which is to make any book, ever printed, in any language available wirelessly in less than 60 seconds.

Emphasis added by me.

Maybe I haven’t been paying attention. Or maybe my visceral-aesthetic revulsion of the Kindle (mis)design has blinded me.

But that’s the first time I’ve seen the Kindle summed up like that.

And you, Sony?

“Our vision for the Sony Reader is …”

… a device open to more eBooks than any other?
… a device that can be used with public libraries?
… a device that gets its ass kicked by superior Kindle marketing?!

So far, it’s been the last one!

How about:

“Our vision for the Sony Reader is to be the most affordable, most open, and most …”

I leave others up to you. That’s why you people get your paychecks.

Now get to work!

eBook Pricing 101: The Magic Formula

September 21, 2008

What part of impulse-buy pricing is so damned difficult to understand?

The Internet is the greatest tool in the history of the marketplace for Instant Gratification!

Take advantage of that fact!

Why is this impossible to grasp?!

A Writer’s Thoughts On The Cybook eReader

September 21, 2008

Via Twitter from sell_ebooks (a Twitterer everyone interested in ebooks must Follow!):

First thoughts on the Cybook Gen3

I bought a second-hand Cybook Gen3 ebook reader from my writing partner last month, and I’ve been using it long enough now to have some initial thoughts about it. This isn’t a proper review, as I haven’t been exploring all its features. What I *have* been doing with it is simply reading some of the books she’d loaded on it, mostly on the bus to and from work.

And the obvious question is — do I regret spending one hundred pounds on this thing? After all, I could buy quite a few paperbacks for that money. To which the answer is “no”, and for a specific reason I’ll get to at the end of this post. And it’s not one of the obvious reasons, like saving shelf space or being able to carry a hundred books with me at all times, although I can see the advantages there.

Would I buy one at full market price? (Currently 269 pounds if shipped to the UK.) Probably not, but mostly because the wee beastie is physically fragile, and I fully expect that I’ll manage to break it within a year or two given my current usage of it. I can see why other people would pay that for it, and why I might in other circumstances.

So, the pros and cons I’ve found so far:

Bold emphasis added by me.

Sony, please please please get the Sony Reader price down down down!

If you can get people to the point where the hardware entry point for eBooks is lower — and also continue to drop the price as sales increase — things will happen in a big way.

If people buy a Sony Reader for $199, they’ll easily accumulate enough value in it with eBooks and texts that replacing one at $199 (or even better: $149!) will be easy.

They’ll have become hooked on eReading and will miss it.

What’s particularly interesting about this post is that it’s from a writer who has also been published in eBook format (some of it is erotica; attention, Mitzi Szereto!)! Click through to read his her thoughts. He She raises points I’ve not seen elsewhere.